Sunday, August 28, 2011

Chain Reaction by Simone Elkeles

Wow! Simone Elkeles really hit it out of the park in the conclusion of the Perfect Chemistry trilogy. In fact my final reaction to this book is shocking because quite honestly I was not really anticipating this book. After reading the description I really was a little unsure of this book. I loved the earlier two and wasn’t so sure of this one. Here’s the description from Amazon:

Luis Fuentes is a good boy who doesn't live with the angst that his big brothers, Alex and Carlos, have always lived with. Luis is smart, funny, and has big dreams of becoming an astronaut. But when he falls for the wrong girl, Luis enters a dark world he's never known, and just when he thinks he's got life all figured out, learns some disturbing news about his family that destroys his positive outlook on life. Will that Fuentes bad boy streak come out with a vengeance and lure Luis to live on the edge like his new girlfriend and his own father?

This series has a little bit of a West Side story to it. All 3 books revolve around a division in ethnicity and class. The boys are from the wrong side of the tracks and are involved with gang activity. If you enjoyed West Side Story or other books in that topic then you will love this series. Although there is more of a love story to Elkeles work.

First of all Luis isn’t my favorite Fuentes by far however I think this is probably the best book of the series. Luis is a great lead but I found that he wasn’t quite as intense as Alex and Carlos. He still has his moments and some emotions still have that fierce intensity but overall he doesn’t live life as passionately as his brothers. Then he meets Nikki and she brings out his intensity.

Nikki was by far the most interesting love interest in the series. She has gone through so much prior to meeting Luis that she has a lot more depth from the first chapter. She is a very strong girl and has sustained a good amount of hurt. At times as a reader you might want to shove her along to heal but it makes for a great story.

The plot of this book is surprising. I don’t want to ruin it but I was dumbfounded about ¾ of the way through the book at the curveball we are thrown. There are so many issues that this book addresses and the others simply dance around. It isn’t just a love story but a coming of age/healing story for both of the main characters.

This was by far my favorite book even though Alex and Britney are my favorite couple. I give this one a 5/5. Be sure to check out the first book Perfect Chemistry if you haven’t started the series. 


  1. I've heard phenomenal things about this series, but I haven't read any of them. :( I'm glad you enjoyed this final one so much!!

  2. Sophia,

    This is probably one of my favorite series. You should also check out her Leaving Paradise series. They are both really well written and definite page turners.